Sharjah Book Authority announces 13th Children’s Reading Festival

Themed ‘Create Creativity’, the May 11 – 22 event in Expo Centre Sharjah will see creatives, authors and actors descend on the festival


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 30 Apr 2022, 5:29 PM

The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) will run for a longer 12-day duration this year, the Sharjah Book Authority announced. This year, the festival is a comprehensive one designed for children, parents, authors, illustrators and publishers.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), said the SCRF will get underway at Expo Centre Sharjah on May 11, and carry the theme ‘Create Creativity’.

The international festival is being held under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA).

The event will bring together authors and creatives of global renown to lead more than 1,900 activities, including vibrant panel discussions on a variety of topics central to children’s literature and publishing.

SCRF 2022 also will be home to 139 publishers from 15 countries who will showcase their latest book releases and best-selling titles. SCRF 2022 will host the inaugural edition of the Booksellers Conference from May 15 – 16.

Visitors will have the opportunity to attend a concert featuring composer and singer Tarek Alarabi and his children. Mohamed Henedi, an Egyptian actor and comedian, and Kyle Balda, an American animator and the director of Minions, Jumanji, and Toy Story 2 are other star attractions.

A new chapter in Sharjah’s cultural project

Al Ameri, said, “His Highness and Her Highness taught us that nations are built by the hands and minds of children, and therefore, SCRF is investing in building the future of our country by paving the way for our children and youth to attain their goals and be loyal patrons of Sharjah’s cultural vision as well as our rich Arab culture.”

Khoula Al Mujaini, the general coordinator of SCRF, said, “We included clay in the logo of the new edition to denote the pliability of the children’s creativity and imagination – a capacity they can harness and should fully harness to create their own worlds”.

“Through SCRF's theme ‘Create Creativity’, we want to encourage our young visitors to see themselves as creators. We have designed more than 1,900 intellectually stimulating and challenging activities which will be led by guests from around the world. This programme agenda is segregated into 1,140 child activities, 120 cultural activities and 130 artistic performances and theatre productions, we want to convey that knowledge and books are the tools to build their future,” she added.

Top things to look out for:

Robot Zoo

For the first time, the festival is organising the Robot Zoo, an exhibition of eight animal robots and 15 hands-on activities. The exhibit is based on the book The Robot Zoo conceived, edited, and designed by Marshall Editions of London, United Kingdom. It provides young children with new insights and fun activities on animal behaviour.

List of international and Arab Authors are:

Mireia Trius, Spanish author of Me and the World, and others

Radiya Hafiza, UK-based author of Rumaysa: A Fairytale and Rumaysa: Ever After

Yasmin Rahman, award-winning author of This Is My Truth

Curtis Jobling, bestselling writer from the UK of who authored the Wereworld series

Kobi Yamada, American author of What Do You Do With An Idea?, What Do You Do With A Problem?

Claire Legrand, bestselling author of the Empirium Trilogy

Shanda McCloskey, American author of DOLL-E 1.0

Ken Spillman, Australian author of Big Noah Little Boa

Vibha Batra, Indian author of Incognito

Priya Kuriyan, Indian author of Ammachi's Glasses, among others.

Egyptian media personality Qaswa Al Khalali

Essam Yousef, author of ¼ Gram

Omar Taher, author of Kohl wa Habhan

Effat Barakat, author of Hind Tasnaa Al Hakaya

Dr Tariq Ahmed Al Bakri, author of 50 children's short stories

Falah Hashem and Intelaq Ali from Iraq

Introducing the ‘Kids in Action’ section

The Kids in action section is open to children aged 3-5 years, where 264 creative and interactive activities will try to stimulate their five senses in a fun-filled atmosphere.

Comics Corner

Children and youth will have the opportunity to explore the world of comics through more than 100 activities led by a host of artists and creatives from around the world.

Social Media Station

The Social Media Station will host 12 influencers and content creators who will lead 25 workshops and activities that will shine light on the latest techniques used in creating content on digital platforms.


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